Wednesday, 2 January 2019

It's Not You, It's Me....... Taking a break

Hi Lovelies

How are you all?

So at the start of 2019 I've been reflecting on many things, family, health, work and blogging.

Blogging has taken a real back seat over the past year as I've returned to the crazy theatreland of work. 

I still love writing, although my proper posts had gotten a little lost in 'Blog work',  and I have many many drafts to finish and publish but for January I've decided to focus on my physical and mental health and part of that is to take a break from social media. So this morning I deleted social media apps from my phone with the exception of my page. For this month I will simply be updating my daily reasons to be cheerful , reading more and hand writing a journal which I've never done in years and years.

I'll also be re starting my couch-2-5k after a break from running due to 'proper man flu', and practising (or trying to practise)  meditation more.

Have you set any goals or started any changes for this year?

See you all in February 

Mrs Monkeyfeet

Saturday, 9 June 2018

(Han) Solo Trip Day 3

Day 3 - ...and relax ...
Yesterday was pretty full on with the Wild Africa Trek, AK and MK so I had always planned today as a rest day. That started with a lie in! Yeyyy! Yesterday I did nearly 30,000 steps, today a mere 11,500!
At some point I’ve acquired 3 mosquito bites in the oddest places. I’ve been loved by mosquitos all over the world but not usually in Orlando, so this is new!  It could be because AoA is right next to hourglass lake

I spent most the morning camped outside on the terrace of the hotel restaurant so that I was within easy reach of food, drinks and toilets while I read my book The weather today has been warm but cloudy and drizzley - so perfect chill day weather!
I gave into my Disney waffle addiction, I lasted a whole 3days!

The food is really good and lots of choice at AoA Landscape of flavours. As a midday snack I also had a ‘everything brownie’ and for tea I had a bacon double cheeseburger and a beer! All covered by dining plan.

Late afternoon I made the terrible mistake of ‘popping to the outlets for a bit’. I only left in the end because I couldn’t physically carry anymore. The first downsides of being a solo traveller
❌ No one to carry your bags
❌ No one to ask you “do you really need another Kate Spade  handbag?”

3 handbags, a purse, 3 necklaces and a pair of earrings later, I finally left Kate Spade  They had 60% off plus an extra 20% plus I’m a member of the outlet VIP club so I logged into the website and showed an extra 10% off code. Picked up other bits and bobs at Disney plus extra VIP discounts in Under Armour and Levi.

I used Uber to get to the outlets and back with no issues. There isn’t constant WiFi at the outlets but plenty of places give you free access like under armour and Starbucks.

Due to my excessive shopping, I was running late for my Hollywood studios fp’s so I decided to cancel them as I have the same fp’s later in the week and it means I’ll be totally refreshed to march around both universal studios parks tomorrow as I only have a 1 day ticket

Instead I’m enjoying my stockpile of room beers, pampering myself with a Kiehls travel set I bought before I left, and watching Netflix with caramel popcorn!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

(Han) Solo Trip Day 2

Day 2 - Animal kingdom and Wild Africa Trek

 I was up bright and early for the Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom  I got the first bus to AK at 7am and the queues to get in for Pandora we’re already massive!

With the crowds waiting to get in and gate staff contradicting each other it was a bit confusing on where our group was meant to wait and whether or not we had to join the massive crowd to get in. If your Trek is before park opening you need to wait near the guest relations window and someone will eventually collect you. They were running a bit late today so it caused confusion.
Highly recommend the Wild Africa Trek - lots of fun, the guides could answer any question, and they take loads of photos as you go around in your sexy safety harness

 You get geared up with a mic and water bottle before taking a stroll through the animal areas. In key areas you meet an expert for that animal and you use your harness to attach to safety ropes so you can go down into the enclosures to get a closer look. 

We went into the hippo and crocodile areas to learn more and crossed a rope bridge above the crocodile pit.

 You get a private safari tour which stops in key places and allows you to stand up and use binoculars for a closer look. You also get snacks included overlooking the savannah - a selection of fruit, yoghurt, bread, cheese and meats!

The rain just started as the Trek ended so we all given free ponchos - score!

I didn’t want to get too full as I wanted to walk around all the animal trails to take photos so I used the app to pre-order pulled pork and cheese topped fries from Flame tree bbq (1xsnack credit) and grabbed some fruit later. Lesson learnt today, be very clear when you don’t want to use your snack credits as some servers automatically take them. This happened with the fruit - not a good use of two snack credits! So I waited and asked for a manager to reverse it and they gave me the fruit for free for my wait.
I used a snack credit on a giant Starbucks and added caramel shots (why not, it’s all included) This should have cost $7. You can also get free water and cups to the right hand side of the counter in Starbucks without asking.

I went to Pandora for the first time today - wow! It’s amazing! I had a fp for Flight of passage, it really is like Soarin on steroids but I definitely wouldn’t queue for it! As a single rider they also put you in a separate line to fill up odd numbers in the groups so you get on even quicker!
Other fp today was the Safari for even more animals and Everest!

 The rest of day has been photo walks around the trails and looking around Pandora. I had the cheeseburger pods and a beer which were really nice and more filling than they looked.
As the weather looks a bit unpredictable for the rest of my holiday I decided to go for it and checked the MDE app for any fast passes once I’d used my last one on Everest. MK had buzz light year (which I don’t have a fp for during my stay) so after a few Pandora beers I headed to MK which was open until midnight. Turns out beer dramatically improves my aim on Buzz 
I stayed for the fireworks, I absolutely love all fireworks but Disney are always the most amazing! To avoid the mass exit and to see if the park quietened down I went for a walk around and grabbed a giant ice cream cookie sandwich from Sleepy Hollow and watched the follow up projection show on the castle. 

As it was Saturday night the wait times were still crazy for all the rides, so I got the bus back to AoA. By this time the queues for the buses were all reasonable and I got on the first one that arrived. Someone in the queue mentioned that they also hop on the pop century bus if that looks quieter and they just walk across the bridge to AoA.
I had a lovely lie in this morning. I’m looking forward to days where I don’t get up earlier than I do for work on a normal day!  Today is a bit of a rest day and probably Hollywood studios tonight for Star Wars fireworks - pew pew pew!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Diary of a Solo Traveller in Florida

I have this amazing 'Sister' Joanne.

* shes's one of my Womens Institute Sisters

She just recently set off on a solo trip to Florida! I have loved reading her adventures and I thought you might too...

✨(Han) Solo Trip✨

Day 1 - Magic Kingdom

Arrived safe and sound at Art of Animation  The Virgin flight yesterday flew by with back to back films...immigration not so much. There was a big queue which took about an hour and I got stuck at the desk for ages because my photo off 2 years ago looks nothing like me now. Thanks to Slimming World  

Several credit cards, driving license and managing to work out how much weight I’d lost in lbs I finally convince them I was the same person!

Timed my arrival perfectly for the Magical Express, and Art of Animation (AoA) the first stop.

I opted out of mousekeeping in return for a $90 gift card . As I checked in online I found out my room number on the coach and knew from other blogs that it was the furthest possible building from the food court and transport so I asked if they had anything a bit closer and they did!
I added the QS dining to my room only a few days ago but I’m so glad I did. Now that it includes alcoholic beverages, it’s really good value and you can always take it back to your room and pop it in the fridge for room beers later on if you don’t fancy it now

I booked Be Our Guest (BoG) for 8am thinking I’d wake up ridiculously early but I think I could have managed a lie in. I had a complete carb & sugar overload at BoG!

Banana caramel croissant donut thingy, token bit of fruit and even when you’re own your own you get the full plate of side pastries! Making good use of my dining plan, I refilled my coke before I left and got an extra cup of water.
I used a snack credit to get one of my faves - vanilla and pineapple dole whip float . 

The queue was massive so I ordered on the app and picked up my order 2mins later!
Being a solo traveller definitely has its advantages

✅ You don’t have to share your food

✅ Being able to squeeze into Disney buses with ease. No waiting for the next one

✅ Ride rows/ seats all to yourself. When you’re with someone else, one of you has to sit on the RHS of Splash mountain and take the extra soaking from the waterfall and the splash from other peoples drop
My $90 gift card was burning a hole in my pocket and it’s gone already on a ‘I am Groot’ hat, a haunted mansion print and Cogsworth Christmas ornament to match Lumiere that I got last year. All being delivered to the hotel tomorrow so I didn’t have to lug them about on rides.

MK was pretty quiet in the morning, so I managed Big Thunder Mountain (fp) Splash Mountain (fp) PoTC, and it’s a small world. Space Mountain broke down so I got a free fast pass and used it on Haunted Mansion and went on the people mover to see inside Space Mountain with the lights on! I left MK pretty early to relax by the pool with a book and to give my feet a rest. Over 16,000 steps today!

Tomorrow I’m at Animal Kingdom super early for The Wild Africa trek . It starts at 8am and you have to be there 30m before, so I need to be on the 7am bus 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

National Sandwich Week

Did you know this week is national sandwich week!

Loving the news of Sandwich week

Oh my, I genuinely can not express my love of a good sandwich. So much so I'd struggle to pick just one favourite! Anything from a Joey Tribiani style feast to a simple cucumber finger sandwich. I will never not be happy with a good home made sarnie!

choosing which num nom flavour would make the best filling

But what better way to celebrate National Sandwich week than to share family Monkeyfeet's top 5  favourite sandwich ideas with you. 

It took a while for us all to decide, the kids took their latest Num Noms collection outside for some filling inspiration, 

But I took to my facebook 'Villager Group'  to see if they could help me choose, and we had lots of suggestions but the most popular  was the one I had already chosen as my desert island sandwich...

Christmas Sandwich (Mammy Monkeyfeet)

Image result for turkey stuffing spread sandwich

The BLT (Daddy Monkeyfeet)

Image result for blt spread sandwich

Nutella (Peanut)

Image result for chocolate spread sandwich

PB and J (The Golden Child)

Image result for pb and j sandwich

Crisp Sandwich (Termite)

Image result for crisp sandwich

So the big question now is... what is your favourite sandwich?

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Breakfast with The Easter Bunny at Wyevale Garden Centre Gosforth

*We were given tickets for this event in exchange for an honest review 

On Sunday we had plans for a family day out but chicken pox put paid to that and so the big kids we're packed of with their aunties and cousin to take our place in a 'meet the Easter bunny breakfast'

Here's what they thought of the day , words and images courtesy of the amazing 'mafia mammy'

Today Peanut, The Golden Child & The Saurus (unfortunately Termite had to miss it due to having Chicken pox) visited Wyevale Garden Centre in Gosforth to have breakfast with the Easter Bunny.

We were greeted in the restaurant by Alice in Wonderland and shown to our table. The was a puzzle/colouring sheet, crayons, paper bag and blank Easter trail sticker sheet for each of the children with a name badge. Drinks were brought quickly, unlimited squash for the kids & unlimited tea or filter coffee for adults. The food was a little slow in arriving & the kids were getting a little impatient, but when it arrived was nice & well cooked.

 After breakfast we had to shout really loud to get the Easter Bunny to come out - then we followed him/her (I'm not sure which sex the bunny is) around the garden centre to find 5 facts about rabbits 

 a female is a doe
 a male is a buck
 they are herbivores
their teeth never stop growing, 

We learned more facts too! At each point the kids got a sticker for their sheet and a chocolate egg for the bags. When we got back to the restaurant from our hunt the Easter Bunny said his/her goodbyes and there was a balloon and a cookie to decorate for each child. 

The 3 monkeys enjoyed making their creations, while also eating the icing and other decorations at the same time! During this time Alice came round with a soft toy for each child - a choice between a rabbit, lamb and pig. The toys are a nice size and are not cheap looking. 

We had a fun morning and consider the tickets good value for money at £10.95 per child with adult breakfast costing £5 for a bacon buttie or pastry with tea and coffee or £8.50 for a full English.

The only disappointing part was there was no dedicated time for pictures with the Easter Bunny & Alice - although if you went and asked they did oblige. All 3 monkeys said they enjoyed the morning and were entertained throughout. After the event was over the kids were allowed into the soft play free of charge for a little play. The Easter Bunny was also very kind and sent a soft toy bunny home for Termite since the pox had kept her away from the day.

The kids all really enjoyed their day , Peanut w#commented that she would like to be able to go at her own pace for the egg hunt but understood that some of the smaller kids would be too small for running around, plus the clues were around the garden centre not in great big open spaces.

You can book tickets on Wyvales Website but I'd hurry some days are already sold out!